We have all been to those presentations.... I'm talking about the ones where the speaker comes armed with PowerPoint slides, tons of data points, charts, graphs and motivational quotes. In our world, we call that "product dumping." While it seems like a good idea on slide 22 to keep adding more bullets to your message the reality is that it will likely not be memorable for about 99% of your audience..
Now think about another presentation where the speaker uses a powerful story to get his point across. I'm guessing you could remember the speaker, the location, the stage, the context of the story they were telling, and maybe even the point they were trying to make. Its a little easier to remember that kind of presentation isn't it? Why? Because great stories create great memories.
My grandfather was a great story teller. He used to tell me about his battles in World War II, how he met my grandmother, a giant fish he caught and his greatest rounds of golf. He knew how to capture my attention as a young boy. He understood the power of a story well told I'm not even sure how many of his stories were actually true. But they sure were memorable!
A great story, when told well and at the right time can change lives.
As for marketers, a great story helps compel customers or prospects to take a desired action. Here at Banyan Creative we believe in the power of telling great stories.
What is Story-Based Marketing?
Story-based marketing is the strategic use of narratives (otherwise known as stories), rather than data or descriptions, to sell a product or service and build out a brand. It can be used in video ads, print ads, social media, websites, and anywhere your organization reaches your audience of prospective buyers/investors/donors/clients.
Why Does it Work?
We live for stories. For centuries, stories have been used to entertain, teach lessons, and pass on history. It makes perfect sense that these same stories would increase your ability to connect with your audience. So why use Story-Based Marketing in your content marketing?
Stories Make it Memorable and Meaningful
Using stories, you’re able to communicate complex messages simply and memorably. Of course, the facts and figures are important, but let’s be honest: Too often they go through one ear and out the other. The data is much more likely to make an impact if the viewer can attach a name, a face, or a story to your info.
Stories Show Rather Than Tell
Audiences today are more marketing-savvy than ever. They rely more and more on recommendations from friends and doing research on their own. They are more likely to resist a message if it’s too direct or heavy handed. Today’s consumer doesn’t like being told what to do — but by showing them rather than telling them, you can guide an audience to a conclusion without outright telling them what to do.
Emotions Are More Persuasive Than Facts
Stories are so powerful in a marketing sense because people connect with them on an emotional level. While facts and figures can be compelling to the logical mind, a well-crafted narrative appeals to our empathetic, emotional side, too. Stories also show off your organization’s values, which builds trust with your audience.
Crafting a compelling story is an excellent way to establish your brand, share your message, and show your audience why it matters.
How Can You Use it?There are several ways to incorporate storytelling into your marketing strategy. Here are a few tips:
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.